One of the major worries that your aging relative may have is that their poor health will interfere with their ability to live on their own at home. Most seniors prefer to age in place rather than move elsewhere, but it’s often not safe or healthy for them to be alone.
That’s why family caregivers hire elderly care providers to assist their elderly loved one with all the self-care and daily tasks as they need it. However, there is one often-overlooked professional that can also help your elderly loved one thrive at home—an occupational therapist.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is a type of therapy for people who are recovering from some physically limiting disease or condition to recover their ability to complete daily activities. An occupational therapist helps the elderly person approach basic tasks in new ways that may be better suited to their new physical abilities.
This specialized type of therapy also involves adapting the home environment to better accommodate the aging adult’s physical challenges. Along with support from family caregivers, elderly care providers and others, the occupational therapist helps the senior succeed.
Benefits of Occupational Therapy
There are many different benefits to having your elderly relative work with an occupational therapist. The first advantage is that occupational therapy can keep the senior safer and healthier. Living with physical limitations is difficult, and there are hidden hazards throughout the home. Examples include slippery shower floors, using knives in the kitchen and bending over to pick up objects off the floor.
Seniors with a range of health issues can injure themselves or suffer a slip and fall accident quite easily. An occupational therapist can help them approach each task in the safest way possible based on their current abilities. Family caregivers and elderly care providers also play a big part in the elderly adult safe from accidents. Occupational therapy just adds another layer of protection by helping seniors modify their actions and stay safer.
Another benefit of occupational therapy has to do with the elderly person’s mental state. It can be very difficult for seniors to accept help from family caregivers and elderly care providers. They often feel embarrassed, angry or depressed at how their body isn’t what it used to be. With occupational therapy, seniors can find ways to do things on their own, restoring some independence and self-sufficiency. While they still need an elderly care provider for in-home care, the aging adult can achieve many small victories every day.
If you have the goal of doing everything you can to help your elderly loved one live at home and want them to live a good quality of life there, consider taking them to an occupational therapist. When an occupational therapist joins a senior’s support team of friends, family members, elderly care providers and doctors, they’ll make a big impact on how the senior lives their daily life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Middleburg, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.